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The Morning Flap: December 21, 2011

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These are my links for December 20th through December 21st:

  • Paul now top pick in new ISU/Gazette/KCRG Poll, but voters still uncertain – A new Iowa State University/Gazette/KCRG poll of 330 likely Iowa Republican caucus goers finds Ron Paul in the top spot among GOP presidential candidates with 27.5 percent, followed closely by Newt Gingrich with 25.3 percent. Paul’s lead over Gingrich is within the poll’s margin of error at plus or minus 5 percentage points.
    Mitt Romney is in third place at 17.5 percent, while Rick Perry is the only other candidate to poll in double digits at 11.2.
  • Congress leaves town with an uneasy stalemate and looming payroll tax hike – “Let’s be clear: Right now the bipartisan compromise reached on Saturday is the only viable way to prevent a tax hike on January 1,” Obama said not long after the House vote. “Do not play brinksmanship. The American people are weary of it, tired of it. They expect better.”

    House Republicans rejected the deal 229 to 193, with no Democratic votes, to set aside the Senate deal. GOP critics argued that the two-month deal would inject new uncertainty into a still-sluggish economy. They said they were prepared to work through the holidays to reach a deal.

  • WSJ: GOP a ‘circular firing squad’ – In a devastating blow to congressional Republicans, the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board blasted the GOP’s leaders on the Hill Wednesday for botching the political battle against President Barack Obama and Democrats on the payroll tax issue, arguing the party has drowned out its small victories “in the sounds of their circular firing squad.”

    The editorial was headlined, “The GOP’s payroll tax fiasco: How did Republicans manage to lose the tax issue to Obama?”

  • House Republicans who bucked their party – Seven House Republicans bucked their party and voted against sending the payroll tax bill to conference Tuesday.

    Reps. Charlie Bass of New Hampshire, Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington state, Chris Gibson of New York, Tim Johnson of Illinois, Walter Jones of North Carolina, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Frank Wolf of Virginia all voted against sending the bill to conference. The measure, which passed 229-193, continues the legislative stalemate on Capitol Hill.

    Some of the votes against sending the bill to conference appeared to be a tacit acknowledgement of the political risks House Republicans could face in the year end fight over extending the payroll tax holiday.

    “I support continuing the payroll tax cut, extending unemployment insurance and making sure Medicare patients have access to the medical care they need.  I had hoped the Senate would have agreed that a year extension is better than 2 months.  But I know that families in Southwest Washington [state] are struggling to make ends meet, and I wanted to eliminate any of their fear that this relief wouldn’t be in place Jan. 1,” Herrera Beutler said in a statement to POLITICO.

  • Why House Republicans Won’t Win on the Payroll Tax Cut Extension – With the Wall Street Journal editorial page already calling on House Republicans to surrender in their fight over a payroll tax cut extension, First Read gives three reasons why the House GOP is unlikely to win this fight:

    “Reason #1: House Republicans allowed the Senate to break for the Christmas holiday without explicit orders it would need to come back. In fact, Politico notes that the silence from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is deafening. Reason #2: The Senate passed its legislation by a bipartisan 89-10 vote, raising the question whether a conference committee could produce a deal that could get 60-plus Senate votes. Reason #3: The House GOP didn’t allow an up-or-down vote on the Senate bill, suggesting that it could have passed if they did. Those three reasons will be hard for the House GOP to explain away if the tax cut expires after Dec. 31.”

  • SOPA online piracy bill markup postponed – The House Judiciary Committee confirmed Tuesday that it will delay continuing debate on the Stop Online Piracy Act until after Congress returns from its winter recess.

    Committee spokeswoman Kim Smith said in an e-mailed statement that the hearing is expected to be scheduled for “early next year.”

    After two days of heated debate last week, the committee adjourned its markup session on the measure without a vote. The debate over SOPA has been framed as a fight between old media and new media. Organizations such as the Motion Picture Association of America have been backing the bill, while Internet firms such as Reddit have been mobilizing their users against it.

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The Afternoon Flap: November 18, 2011

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These are my links for November 17th through November 18th:

  • Poll: Romney, Gingrich in statistical dead heat in N.H. – Two things are true about New Hampshire Republican primary voters. They vote for people they know. And they love an underdog with a comeback story.Four years ago it was the weathered but feisty veteran John McCain who revived his once hanging-by-a-thread campaign to win the nation’s leadoff primary.And so it seems almost fated that after political observers have scratched their heads for months wondering who will emerge as the non-Romney candidate in the Granite State, the voters’ eyes should turn to Newt Gingrich, a man who was Speaker of the House during the previous century and whose own campaign was left for dead last summer.

    The latest NH Journal poll of likely Republican primary voters conducted by Magellan Strategies shows Romney and Gingrich in a statistical dead heat for the January 10th primary. If the election were held today, Romney would earn 29% of the vote and Gingrich would earn 27%. Texas Congressman Ron Paul continues to show resolve by earning 16%. Herman Cain gets 10%. No other candidate is in double digits.

  • Big Labor shells out for GOP friends – For House Republicans, it pays to be a friend of Big Labor.Major unions are giving a heftier slice of campaign donations than usual to pro-labor Republicans this election cycle, even as overall union contributions to members of Congress lags.Labor insiders say there’s extra incentive to support their GOP friends this cycle as unions look to reward lawmakers who rebuff their leadership on key votes, ingratiate themselves to freshman Republicans and ward off primary challengers as many tea party candidates campaign on anti-union platforms.

    Overall this cycle, about 13 percent of labor groups’ political action committee contributions — just over $2 million — have gone toward GOP candidates, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. That’s still dwarfed by the nearly $14 million in union cash that’s gone to Democrats this cycle, but the GOP appears to be gaining ground with union donors after receiving only 6 percent of total contributions in 2010 and 8 percent in the 2008 cycle.

  • Occupy Wall Street: Anne Hathaway joins protesters but surely she’s in the 1%? – She is one of Hollywood’s highest paid actresses and lives a very privileged lifestyle that 99 per cent of people can only dream of.Still, Anne Hathaway acted as an average Joe and accompanied hundreds of protestors as she joined the Occupy Wall Street demonstration in Manhattan’s Union Square.The 29-year-old, who is worth a reported $58 million, was pictured marching with protesters and sticking it to the man yesterday in The Big Apple.
  • Sarah Palin: How Congress Occupied Wall Street – Mark Twain famously wrote, “There is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.” Peter Schweizer’s new book, “Throw Them All Out,” reveals this permanent political class in all its arrogant glory. (Full disclosure: Mr. Schweizer is employed by my political action committee as a foreign-policy adviser.)Mr. Schweizer answers the questions so many of us have asked. I addressed this in a speech in Iowa last Labor Day weekend. How do politicians who arrive in Washington, D.C. as men and women of modest means leave as millionaires? How do they miraculously accumulate wealth at a rate faster than the rest of us? How do politicians’ stock portfolios outperform even the best hedge-fund managers’? I answered the question in that speech: Politicians derive power from the authority of their office and their access to our tax dollars, and they use that power to enrich and shield themselves.
  • Ventura County Official Announces Bid in New California District – Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett (D) announced on Wednesday that he will seek California’s new 26th district seat.“I am running for Congress because Ventura County residents deserve common sense leadership that is not locked into rigid ideology at the expense of the common good,” Bennett said in a statement. “I have demonstrated that leadership for Ventura County residents here at the county level for 10 years. We have made major improvements in the fiscal health of Ventura County.”The Ventura-based district race is not expected to feature a current incumbent next year, as Rep. Elton Gallegly (R) was drawn into the neighboring 25th district and has yet to say where or whether he will run.

    No Republicans have announced for the seat yet, but two other Democrats have: Moorpark City Councilman David Pollock and former professional tennis player David Cruz Thayne.

  • 26th District Democratic Town Hall – The first Congressional Candidates Town Hall meeting is being held tonight for the new 26th district.The Ventura City Democratic Club is hosting the event at the E.P. Foster Library at 7pm.The declared candidates include businessman David Cruz Thayne, Moorpark City Councilman David Pollock and Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett.
  • The 10 states that will determine control of the House in 2012 – 2. California: The nation’s biggest state has been an electoral afterthought for some time, going a nearly a decade with only one congressional seat changing hands between 2002 and 2010. That won’t happen again. At least three GOP-held seats are likely to go Democratic in the newly reshuffled map crafted by the state’s new citizen’s redistricting commission. But Democrats think they can run up the score even more, while the GOP strategists believe they can win Democratic-held seats elsewhere to even the score. We could see the results spanning from a total wash to Democrats gaining eight seats. Anything on the top end of that scale would be a major Democratic win.
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-18 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-18 #tcot #catcot
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Los Angeles Chinatown – Heading home after an afternoon at LA auto show (@ Los Angeles Chinatown)
  • California Proposition 8 Sponsors Protect Marriage Legally Entitled to Defend Measure » Flap’s California Blog – California Proposition 8 Sponsors Protect Marriage Legally Entitled to Defend Measure
  • Lockerz.com : Los Angeles Dodgers’s Photo – RT @Dodgers: Congrats to Clayton Kershaw on winning the #CyYoung! Enjoy your celebratory champagne!
  • House Leaders Plan Facebook Hackathon – While House Republican and Democratic leaders are finding it difficult to agree on spending cuts, they are coming together next month for Capitol Hill’s first-ever Facebook Hackathon. The goal is to find new ways to use the social network to make information about the legislative process more transparent and to help members of the public more easily engage with lawmakers.Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the Republican leader, and Representative Steny Hoyer, a Democrat from Maryland and his party’s whip, are co-hosting the event, scheduled for Dec. 7 in the U.S. Capitol, which will include Facebook engineers, independent software developers, advocates for the open data movement and members of Congress.Hackathon is a term used to describe an event where programmers come together to build applications in a collaborative process.

    “There is a lot of opportunity to improve the process,” said Matt Lira, digital director for Mr. Cantor. “We are going to sit down in a bipartisan way and look at how we can tackle some of these problems. We are hoping to get as many engineers as possible. They will have a unique opportunity to help make democracy work better.”

  • Untitled (http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/20111115econToplines.pdf) – President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Gingrich 23% Vs. Cain 21% Vs. Romney 19% Vs. Paul 7% Vs. Perry 6%
  • In Debates, Newt Gingrich’s Real Target Is Obama – It’s an open question whether Gingrich can defeat Obama in 2012. It’s taken as a truism that he has “too much baggage.” Well, some of the baggage is lighter than it appears. He was cleared by the Clinton-era Internal Revenue Service of wrongdoing in alleged ethics violations stemming from a college course he taught in the 1990s. The charge that he surprised his cancer-stricken first wife with divorce papers has been, at the least, exaggerated.
  • (500) http://flapsblog.com/2011/11/17/poll-watch-u-s-unemployment-rate-increases-in-mid-november/ – Poll Watch: U.S. Unemployment Rate Increases in Mid-November #tcot #catcot
  • (500) http://smilesforalifetime.com/index.php/2011/11/poll-watch-smoking-rates-range-from-a-high-of-29-in-kentucky-to-low-of-11-in-utah/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=poll-watch-smoking-rates-range-from-a-high-of-29-in-kentucky-to-low-of-11-i – Poll Watch: Smoking Rates Range From a High of 29% in Kentucky to Low of 11% in Utah
  • Occupy Wall Street | Liveblog live blogging | Reuters.com – RT @Reuters: Live coverage of Occupy Wall Street #OWS
  • Ruling on Prop 8, Same Sex Marriage to Come From California Supreme Court | TheBlaze.com – RT @theblaze: Calif. Supreme Court to Issue Pivotal Gay Marriage Ruling Today via @theblaze
  • AD-66: Former California Governor George Deukmejian Endorses Nathan Mintz » Flap’s California Blog – AD-66: Former California Governor George Deukmejian Endorses Nathan Mintz
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: November 17, 2011 – The Morning Drill: November 17, 2011
  • (500) http://flapsblog.com/2011/11/17/the-morning-flap-november-17-2011/ – The Morning Flap: November 17, 2011 #tcot #catcot
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Flap’s Links and Comments for September 2nd through September 6th

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These are my links for September 2nd through September 6th:

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Flap’s Links and Comments for August 29th on 08:31

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These are my links for August 29th from 08:31 to 08:55:

  • Workplace Notice Poster for Worker’s Rights – WORKPLACE NOTICE
    Worker Rights The National Labor
    Relations Board May Not Tell You About
    For additional information:
    www.workforcefairness.org
    The Right to Decide Workers have a right to decide whether or not
    they want to be represented by a collective
    bargaining unit.
    A Secret Ballot Workers have a right to a secret ballot vote to
    decide whether or not they want to form a
    collective bargaining unit.
    A Vote on Contracts Workers have a right to vote on contracts that
    affect their salaries, benefits and workplace rules.
    Workplace Fairness Workers have a right to know that penalties for
    violating their rights will be assessed equally
    against both employers and organized labor.
    The Right to Decertify Workers have a right to vote via secret ballot to
    decertify a collective bargaining unit.
    You Control Your Dues Workers have a right to prohibit their dues from
    going to organizations that use them for political
    causes they do not agree with.
  • An EPA Moratorium – Since everyone has a suggestion or three about what President Obama can do to get the economy cooking again, here's one of ours: Immediately suspend the Environmental Protection Agency's bid to reorganize the U.S. electricity industry, and impose a moratorium on EPA rules at least until hiring and investment rebound for an extended period.

    The EPA is currently pushing an unprecedented rewrite of air-pollution rules in an attempt to shut down a large portion of the coal-fired power fleet. Though these regulations are among the most expensive in the agency's history, none were demanded by the late Pelosi Congress. They're all the result of purely bureaucratic discretion under the Clean Air Act, last revised in 1990.

    As it happens, those 1990 amendments contain an overlooked proviso that would let Mr. Obama overrule EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson's agenda. With an executive order, he could exempt all power plants "from compliance with any standard or limitation" for two years, or even longer using rolling two-year periods. All he has to declare is "that the technology to implement such standard is not available and that it is in the national security interests of the United States to do so."

    Both criteria are easily met. Most important, the EPA's regulatory cascade is a clear and present danger to the reliability and stability of the U.S. power system and grid. The spree affects plants that provide 40% of U.S. baseload capacity in the U.S., and almost half of U.S. net generation. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, which is charged with ensuring the integrity of the power supply, reported this month in a letter to the Senate that 81 gigawatts of generating capacity is "very likely" or "likely" to be subtracted by 2018 amid coal plant retirements and downgrades.

    That's about 8% of all U.S. generating capacity. Merely losing 56 gigawatts—a midrange scenario in line with FERC and industry estimates—is the equivalent of wiping out all power generation for Florida and Mississippi.

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    Read it all….

  • Eric Cantor – Memo On Upcoming Jobs Agenda – As you know, we released The House Republican Plan for America’s Job Creators earlier this year. While the debt crisis has demanded much of our attention, our new majority has passed over a dozen pro-growth measures to address the equally troubling jobs crisis, such as the Energy Tax Prevention Act and the Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act. Aside from repeal of the 1099 reporting requirement in ObamaCare, however, each House Republican jobs bill now sits dormant in the Democrat-controlled Senate. You can view the progress of our jobs bills at MajorityLeader.gov/JobsTracker.

    When we return next week, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction will begin meeting to take an additional incremental step towards addressing our debt crisis. During this time, it is essential that the House continue our focus on the jobs crisis. Below are two areas of our jobs agenda that I want to bring to your attention for our upcoming fall and winter legislative schedule.

    REPEAL OF JOB-DESTROYING REGULATIONS TO CREATE MIDDLE CLASS JOBS

    Since passage of H.Res. 72 on February 11, our committee chairmen have been investigating and inventorying regulatory burdens to job creators. They’ve found many that have tied the hands of small business people and prevented job growth. By pursuing a steady repeal of job-destroying regulations, we can help lift the cloud of uncertainty hanging over small and large employers alike, empowering them to hire more workers.

    Our regulatory relief agenda will include repeal of specific regulations, as well as fundamental and structural reform of the rule-making system through legislation like the REINS Act, the Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act, and reform of the Administrative Procedures Act (all three bills are expected on the floor in late November and early December).

    The following is a list of the 10 most harmful job-destroying regulations that our committee chairmen have identified, as well as a selective calendar for their repeal. These regulations are reflective of the types of costly bureaucratic handcuffs that Washington has imposed upon business people who want to create jobs.

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    Read it all for the top ten job-destroying regulations

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